People who received kidneys from donors infected with hepatitis C did not become ill with the virus, thanks to treatment with newer drugs that can cure the disease, a small study reports.
Ten patients not previously infected with hepatitis C took doses of powerful antiviral medications before and after receiving the transplants. None of the patients developed chronic infections, researchers report online March 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The finding could help make more kidneys available for transplants.
“If this increases access to transplantation, then this is a great benefit,” says Jay Fishman, a transplant infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.